Kaine talks retirement security, clean energy jobs

U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine held events in Northern Virginia to discuss his strategies for guaranteeing a secure retirement for seniors and positioning Virginia and the United States to be leaders in the clean energy economy.

During a town hall meeting with Northern Virginia seniors at The Fairfax military retirement community, Kaine shared his strategies for strengthening Medicare, Social Security, and veterans’ benefits. He then hosted a roundtable discussion in Arlington with leaders in the clean energy economy. Throughout the 90-minute meeting, Kaine emphasized his comprehensive energy plan, which would help Virginia compete in the world’s emerging $2.3 trillion clean energy market.

During the town hall with military retirees, Kaine advocated a balanced approach to deficit reduction and highlighted ways to control Medicare costs, like saving up to $24 billion per year by allowing the program to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. He also pledged to protect benefits that veterans have earned through their service. Kaine contrasted his positions with those of his opponent, George Allen, who voted to shift Social Security dollars to private accounts during his last term in the Senate and has praised Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget which would jeopardize priorities like veterans’ benefits while shifting healthcare costs onto the shoulders of vulnerable seniors.

“We need to pursue strategies that strengthen Social Security, Medicare, and veterans’ benefits, not ones that weaken these programs through indiscriminate cuts or privatization or voucher schemes,” said Kaine. “I have experience in reducing spending from my time as governor, but I also know there is a right way and a wrong way to do cuts. As senator, I’ll push for a balanced approach that cuts spending while allowing for investments in priorities that will grow the economy.”

In Arlington, Kaine shared his comprehensive energy policy and emphasized the need to make Virginia and the United States leaders in clean energy innovation. Kaine’s comprehensive approach includes strategies to increase conservation, expand energy infrastructure, and create jobs in Virginia by boosting domestic energy production. As governor, Kaine enacted the Commonwealth’s first comprehensive energy policy that included alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and biofuels, as well as cleaner coal technology, nuclear power, and an openness to exploratory drilling for natural gas.

“Clean energy technologies are going to power the future,” said Kaine. “The question is whether we will develop these technologies in the United States and sell them abroad, or whether we will sit on the sidelines and buy the technology from other countries. These technologies are proven, they are putting people to work in Virginia right now, and they will be part of the comprehensive energy approach I will advocate if chosen to serve in the Senate.”

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